From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Sun 01 Jun 2003 - 04:46:22 GMT
Perhaps this book has been mentioned here before, but I don't see any sign
I am in the process of reading it right now. There are a bunch of reviews
of the book, a good fraction of them scathing, a few like this. It is a
work most congenial to memetics.
Across the globe and throughout history, human beings have engaged in a
variety of religious practices and have held a diversity of religious
beliefs. These phenomena have been explained in a variety of different ways
by anthropologists, psychologists, and other scholars, as well as by
religious practitioners themselves, with varying degrees of success.
Perhaps more puzzling, and just in need of an explanation, is the fact that
human beings have religion in the first place. According to Boyer, it is
only now, with recent contributions of the cognitive and neural sciences
and evolutionary biology to the understanding of the nature and origins of
the human mind, that we are in position to successfully provide such an
explanation. Religion Explained attempts just such an explanation, drawing
on cutting edge research in a variety fields and Boyer's own fieldwork
experience. Religion, Boyer suggests, is a by-product of the way our minds
evolved to negotiate the natural and, more importantly, the social world.
Boyer's naturalistic and cognitivist approach is at variance with many
established traditions in the study of the religion and his approach may
seem wrong-headed to many. Be that as it may, he has produced a challenging
and thought-provoking book, containing many insights that transcend what
some might see as the limitations of his approach.
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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